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Can An Air Mattress Burst?

Air mattresses can seem like a great option for all of us who want a more comfortable camping experience.

They can be a great solution when you have overnight guests, and when it comes to personal use a high-quality air bed allows for custom firmness.

As a fat person, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about whether air mattresses are safe to sleep on, especially if your partner is also on the heavy side.

So, can an air mattress burst?

Your air mattress could burst if you put too much weight and pressure beyond the mattress’s weight capacity. You can also increase the chances of it popping or losing air if you overinflate your air mattress, or if the airbed was manufactured from inferior materials.

So, let’s take a closer at what can make an air bed burst, or lose air, and if your weight plays any factor.

Can An Air Mattress Burst?

Despite what you may think air mattresses can actually handle a lot of stress, but this doesn’t mean they won’t burst.

I do want to emphasize that when I say bursting I don’t mean an explosive burst, and while that could also happen under certain circumstances, a small air leak that causes deflation is far more common.

The quality of your air mattress is going to be the first thing that is responsible for its longevity and resilience.

Inexpensive mattresses with a single air chamber are more likely to pop if they get damaged, compared to air mattresses that are constructed by multiple individual air coils.

When you set up your air mattress you also need to make sure the ground doesn’t have sharp objects that can cause a puncture.

Usually, high-quality mattresses will have multiple layers on the bottom and surface of the mattress to protect it, but as you can imagine if you are camping, the ground can have all sorts of sharp and dangerous objects that can burst your air mattress.

Another common reason why an air mattress would burst is overinflation during pumping. If you overinflate your air bed, then it may cause excessive strain in certain areas, especially the seams.

If that’s the case then your weight could actually cause the mattress to burst, not necessarily because you’re heavy, but because the mattress doesn’t have enough flexibility.

That being said, laying on an air mattress while exceeding its weight capacity can also lead to bursting. But even if you don’t exceed the weight limit, jumping on the airbed can also have the same effect.

Do Air Mattresses Have A Weight Limit?

Air mattresses come in many different sizes, and along with the brand, the technology and design inside of the air mattress will impact how much weight they can take.

Every air mattress will have a weight limit. King-sized air mattresses usually have a 600 to 700 pounds average weight capacity, while smaller airbeds can get up to 300 to 400 pounds.

Modern mattresses are definitely designed to take up more weight, and they are more resilient to everyday wear and tear.

The internal beam or coil beam construction work to distribute the weight of one or more people across the whole mattress which in turn increases its weight limit.

If you’re a large couple looking for a comfy air mattress, you can check out the Englander which you can find on Amazon.

The Englander has an astonishing weight capacity of 800 pounds so you can simply relax and let this air mattress support both of you while you enter the realm of dreams.

Will An Air Mattress Lose Air If You’re Overweight?

The truth is most air mattresses will lose some air over time no matter your weight and that’s not always a bad thing.

In fact, air mattresses are more likely to burst if they don’t lose any air at all and no mattress is airtight because they need a bit of room to breathe when you sit or sleep on it, especially if you’re heavier.

Even as you sit down you can expect the mattress to lose some air, but the main reason you might notice a difference between the firmness of your mattress during the day and night is the difference in temperature.

You see, the air is made up of molecules and according to NASA the faster these molecules move the hotter the air becomes, as these molecules heat and move faster they begin to move apart and take up more space.

On the other hand, during the night when the temperature usually drops the air in your mattress will become more condensed.

So, it does need a bit of that wiggle room, because if your mattress is inflated to the maximum then these physical changes can cause it to burst, or the tension will create tears which will cause more air leaking.

Another reason you may find your air mattress losing lots of air could be the opening that with time can lose its firmness.

This usually happens with older mattresses that have been used a lot. With time they can lose their elasticity, and the nozzle begins to lose its strength.

The pressure from our bodies will also cause some of the air to escape, and for overweight people, this might mean more air, especially if you’re sleeping on an airbed that doesn’t have a high weight capacity.

However, losing some air over time during these changes is a completely different story from finding a completely deflated airbed in the morning.

But you shouldn’t expect to suddenly wake up on a flat piece of plastic that was a full-blown bed when you laid down on it. This overnight deflation might happen if your mattress has been neglected or it was accidentally cut by a sharp object.

Can You Prevent An Air Mattress From Bursting?

I’m sure we all want our air mattresses to stay inflated as long as possible and we definitely don’t want them to suddenly explode.

For us, larger folk keeping a mattress from bursting means getting a high-quality mattress that can handle our weight.

However, getting the right size mattress is not enough, you’ll also need to properly take care of it to make sure it will serve you for a long time whether you decide to take it on some crazy camping trip, in the guest room, or for your own personal use.

The first step of the maintenance actually starts when you first get the mattress and inflate it.

Each brand might have different instructions, but usually, you should let the air mattress sit for 48 hours before actually using it. This way you’ll allow the material to stretch naturally.

You might also want to take the temperature of the room or house into consideration, and if you’re able to keep it as steady as possible then you’ll experience less fluctuation in firmness.

While your mattress will still lose some air you can actually avoid that by getting an air mattress with a dual pump technology like the SoundAsleep CloudNine Air Mattress on Amazon.

This air mattress has a smart pump that monitors the air pressure, and it also has a 500 pounds weight capacity, like how cool is that?

This pump can also help you avoid the stress of overinflating your airbed.

Other than that, small everyday things can prevent your air bed from bursting. Like keeping it away from breakable objects. Not stepping, jumping on it, or sitting on one side of the bed.

Remember to use mild soap solutions and avoid chemicals whenever you need to clean it and make sure to check it for holes and tears that you can then repair with some PVC glue.

You can also use soapy water to find holes as this video will show you clearly!

Can Heavy People Use An Air Mattress As A Regular Bed?

While air mattresses can be a short-term solution for some, there are people that choose to sleep on airbeds because they are simply cost-effective and you can easily control the firmness of your mattress.

For students and people living in a small apartment having the ability to basically put the bed away during the day can be a real blessing.

Air mattresses, especially with modern technology can be a good option for plenty of people including heavy folk.

However, I want to add that air mattresses are not for everyone and heavy people with back sensitivities can experience discomfort if they sleep on an air mattress regularly, which can lead to sleep deprivation.

Even heavy people without any back or neck problems can experience pain after sleeping regularly on an air mattress because it’s difficult to achieve an incline, but that also will depend on the quality and construction of the mattress.

Air beds are also not great at regulating temperature properly, they might be too cold if the floor and the room at night reach cold temperatures and if it’s hot then the synthetic material of the airbed can cause excessive sweating.

At the end of the day, sleeping on an air mattress regularly as a heavy person is an option, but it’s not always a good idea, since your weight can affect the firmness of the bed.

So, it’s best to sleep on an actual mattress to avoid back problems and use an air mattress occasionally.

Closing Thoughts

Laying down on an air mattress for the first time can bring a lot of uncertainty to a large person.

Is it going to hold me?

Is it going to burst?

With the right air mattress that is built to hold the weight of one or more than one plus-size individual, you don’t have to worry about it bursting.

But, regardless of your size you still need to be careful around an air mattress, by keeping it away from sharp objects and remember not to overinflate it.

Once you got all of that covered you can enjoy your sleep burst free!

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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